From the moment an average Nigerian female is born, it is as if her parents look into her eyes and whisper, ‘We have another addition for the house chores.’
Now truthfully, while a typical Nigerian parent may not say this out loud, they actually do really mean it.
You’d know this by the time the girl is at most, in her teens. It’d begin like a natural transition. Look at what mummy is doing in the litchen. Pass her the salt and spices. Check if the goat meat is still soft and for the love of Jesus Christ, don’t let that rice burn.
This natural transition is, however, not how some Nigerian girls will become integrated into cooking, oh no. Some of them will be literally shoved into the kitchen, maybe literally, but I was thinking more figuratively.
She’d be frightened by the gigantic cooking pot and kitchen but her mother’s slap would be even more frightful and so she’d be brave by force.
For some other Nigerian girls, the need to cook at a young age would come as an inkling. Just a passion to try and make food like mummy does. Those, by the way, are the female chefs like Uriel Oputa and Davido’s Chioma we have today.
A non-Nigerian reading this might wonder why cooking is the first thing mentioned and even somewhat extensively discussed here. You see, for every Nigerian home, cooking is an art. Unlike some cultures whipping up snacks and pancakes, the Nigerian delicacies involve very artistic processes to become the wonder that they are.
Because of this, an average Nigerian girl must learn from her mother, this art of cooking.
Ironically, some Nigerian females despite growing up in Nigeria and been constantly in the kitchen (or out of it), have managed not to be psyched about this art.
Call it nature, call it stubbornness, whatever cap you wish to, they’ll wear. If the numerous ‘how will you cook in your husband’s house?’ and ‘this girl you will not disgrace me‘ couldn’t move them, a tag sure as hell won’t.
But let’s be honest. Let’s call a spade a spade. As much as independence goes, modern woman and sometimes, misused ‘feminist‘, a Nigerian female who dislikes cooking will most likely encounter some challenges.
For instance, when dating a Nigerian man, it is averagely expected to cook for your man. And even if he’s the sweet understanding guy who respects your decisions, at some point, cooking becomes necessary.
It would even seem that shifting the traditional female role of cooking especially in a culturally vibrant country as Nigeria would be impossible. So how can a Nigerian female uninterested in cooking go about this?
Forming the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on need is Physiological needs. These include basic human needs like sleeping and breathing of which food forms a part of. This means that even ancient psychologists like Abraham Maslow identified that man needed basic things like food to function.
Knowing this and knowing motherly roles, would it fair for Nigerian females uninterested in cooking to at least try? Should she be free of society’s dismissal as a bad woman, wife, girlfriend and mother?
Recently, women globally have come out to openly discuss issues that have affected them. Discussions about chores and responsibilities remain a constant back and forth in some marriages.
There is also the responsibility of being a mother. In modern times, more and more Nigerian women are educated, making them more and more involved in their careers fulltime. This means that in an average Nigerian home nowadays, a woman has a full-time profession or owns a business. Both are time-consuming and require her attention. But she has to raise the kids on average, almost singlehandedly.
In these cases, some career women opt for employing domestic help to help with chores. Some of these women still insist on being solely in charge of the cooking;, especially for their husbands.
Asking or wondering how to ‘handle’ a female who’s uninterested in chores and cooking is totally unfair and wrong. Understanding a female in this position and respecting her decision is necessary.
Poultry Podcast anchors, question the level of Nigerian females in the midst of the global shake by women fighting gender pay-gaps, sexual misconduct against them and equality:
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Image Credits: Cooking, Fancycrave Pexels